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Basic Overclocking E and Q processors and D** main boards


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Basic Overclocking E and Q processors and D** main boards
« on: September 11, 2009, 09:19:37 pm »
Before You Start, This guide is not for i7 processors and new main boards as I know nothing about them.

This guide is written for the complete novice and has been added to by many, if you truly know what you are doing, please, by all means skip parts etc. etc. If you are new to computers I suggest you follow along exactly as this guide is written. If you do not understand something, make a reply to this post because that means It did not explain it well enough, that is my fault and I want to fix it.

Disclaimer: I accept no responsibility, for anything, anytime, anywhere. My beloved wife could not make me into a responsible person, you do not have a ghost of a chance. There are only 3 things I am aware of that could even start to damage any of your computer components.

1) For reasons unknown Gigabyte allows the CPU voltage (commonly referred to as Vcore) to be set to ridiculous values. For Core 2 Duo chips the Absolute Maximum Voltage rating is 1.55 Volts (Intel datasheet). In this guide I will NEVER recommend going over 1.45 Volts. Some people set Vcore to very high levels, its your stuff and you do what you want but some friendly advice, you would be well advised to investigate the consequences. Electro-migration and "Transistor junction voltage stress" are two terms you should Google for starters. Oddly its NOT the heat, see #3.

2) It is possible to set your memory voltage at a level that will eventually damage your memory. We must rely on your memory manufacturers data for proper working voltages and you need to know/find this information. The manufacturers web site will have it. Most memory is lifetime warranted and the reputable manufacturers make known for their high performance products what the standard working voltage is as well as "overclocking voltages" that will not void the warranty. If you cannot find this information, a post in the memory forum will usually do the trick.

3) The CPU and several of the important chips on the motherboard have built in thermal sensors and the chips will just shut down to prevent damage if temperatures are too high. However heat is the true killer of all electronics and overclocking in a mini-tower case with only the power supply fan to provide airflow for the case is a death sentence. It will not die today, or even tomorrow, but by next year its a goner. In addition to the CPU, the MCH (Memory Controller Hub, previously known as the North bridge) generates considerable heat. It is one of the chips under the Heatpipe assembly. For moderate or high overclocking it requires a fan. See the Hardware Tips post for more information on heat mitigation/reduction measures.

The only other really bad thing that can happen is to corrupt your Windows installation. This is annoying, If it happens and you are using XP, try this, its a little faster than a reformat and full reinstall.

Boot with the windows XP CD

Tell it you want to do a New Install

It will come back and tell you there already is a Windows installation and ask if you want to repair it. (we hope).

Tell it yes.

Works most of the time and all your data should be intact. Er, hopefully since we are messing with the machine big time, you are not storing your life's work on the boot drive. If so, get that onto CDs before you start OCing.

Absolutely CRITICAL for anything other than a small Overclock.

My board and many of the DQ6 boards were designed for a FSB of about 266MHz or there abouts. The board manufactures have allowed us to overclock the the FSB to frequencies far above what the board was designed to do. A fact of the board design is that the MCH (Memory Controller Hub), a critical chip that is just as important as your CPU is also run/clocked from the FSB clock and there is no way to "unlink" this.

If you overclock your CPU by raising the FSB (and there is no other way to do it) YOU ALSO OVERCLOCK THE MCH. The MCH requires as much attention to cooling as your CPU.

If you follow the steps of this guideline you can expect to:

Have a good set of tools installed to know exactly how fast and how hot your computer is running at all times.

Verify that even at stock speeds you are getting as much out of your machine as you can.

Get quite a bit of extra performance for free with no loss of reliability or stability with a minor or medium overclock. (with no major noise increase)

Obtain the most from your machine possible without compromising reliability or stability.

Some tips for making minor modifications to your board for maximum performance. If you have not built your machine yet, you should check that out first.

To do properly this will take some time, a lot actually, but it does not all have to be done at once.

And it is so easy a Cave...

I welcome constructive comments, suggestions for improvements and definitely let me know if you find any errors. I have a X48-DQ6 it is very similar but its not a DS3 or one of the others Gigabyte make so for a few things I have had to rely on others experiences.

This guide assumes you can get the board to boot at default "out of the box" settings and you can get into the BIOS without issues. It also assumes the OS is installed and the latest drivers video have been installed, Windows is completely updated and a working internet connection is available. This guide will also be helpful if you are experiencing random lockups or BSOD's (Blue Screen Of Death) as the first two sections will make sure your basic hardware settings are correct and tested.

We are going to reset your board to factory defaults and proceed in a methodical way that is assured to take you to the the non-bleeding edge of your boards performance. The manual is that little book that was in the box with the motherboard, go pull it out of the drawer, blow the dust off, and keep it handy please.

We are going to proceed in 4 phases:
Collection of Software Tools, Utilities, Drivers etc.
Tool Installation
Standard High Performance Setup With no Overclock - Recording the Baseline.
Memory Timings Example
Complete List of Recommended BIOS Settings
Settings to Record.
BIOS Clearing and Recovery Tricks.
Small or Medium Overclock for Increased Performance With no Loss of Reliability or Stability
High Performance Overclocking.


We are now going to gather some standard tools and information we need. You may have some of them already and can skip that tool. As a last resort Gigabyte provides a tool we can monitor temperatures with but in general it is a bloated recourse hog and should be avoided if possible. Newer versions might be OK but I stopped using it a long time ago.

Collection of Tools.

Make a new folder on your desktop and name it "OC Utils" or something like that.

Download the following into the new folder. Please do NOT install yet.

Download "cpu-z" to monitor speeds and memory settings.

Download "Coretemp" to monitor temps. (updated to work in Vista :) )

Download "Prime95" to stress test.

Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool (We might find a RAM fault and need to track it down) We will also use this later for some testing

Gigabyte EasyTune 5
(Play with it until you understand what is what and where is what. do NOT use it to attempt to overclock, find the temps and voltages, that's what we need to monitor.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2009, 12:44:17 pm by runn3R »


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Re: Basic Overclocking E and Q processors and DQ* main boards
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2009, 09:22:53 pm »
Now lets get started..

Enter the BIOS

Standard CMOS Features

All you should need to do here is set the date and time, verify your drives are all there and if you have a floppy the correct type is shown, 1.44M, 3.5 has been the standard floppy for many years. Take a look and make sure the total memory shown agrees with what you have installed.

Advanced BIOS Features

Hard Disk Boot Priority [Press Enter]

First Boot Device__________ [CDROM] <-- use whatever device you have memtest created on.

Second Boot Device_________ [Hard Disk]

Third Boot Device__________ [Floppy] <-- if installed or CD if first is floppy, its not critical.

Password Check_____________ [Setup]

HDD S.M.A.R.T. Capability__ [Disabled]

You can turn this on if you want I am not sure if OCing is affected or not. I would wait till we are all happy then turn it on later.

CPU Hyper-Threading________ [Disabled]

C2D's do not Hyper-Thread, two cores are really there.

CPU Multi-Threading________ [Enabled]

Not to be confused with the above, some BIOS's offer one or the other. Hyper-Threading is for older P4 CPU's, and can be disabled unless you are using one.

Multi-Threading should be enabled if you have this option and a Core 2 DUO / QUAD Based CPU in order to enable all cores.

Limit CPUID Max. to 3______ [Disabled]

For using new CPU's with old Operating Systems, not needed.

No-Execute Memory Protect__ [Disabled]

Security Feature -Prevents the execution of code in data-only memory, do not need just now .

CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E)____ [Disabled]

Disable for for now - Thermal management

CPU Thermal Monitor 2(TM2)_ [Enabled]

Per my understanding of data sheets this will only affect the CPU when it is way too hot. If it affects overclocking it is because the CPU cooling is inadequate so it is set to Enable for safety. If you have proper cooling it should have no effect on overclocking unless you are at extreme temps and we do not want to go there and MB temp alarm should go off first anyway Enable for now - Thermal management

CPU EIST Function__________ [Disabled]

There is some discussion that EIST does not affect overclocking as the processor will run full speed when needed and slow down when idle reducing temps and in general being a well behaved nice thing. It does take some system memory. For now we will disable it until we have the machine characterized because the FSB jumping around will drive us nuts. It can be turned on later once we know what the machine will do and if we take notes as recommended you will immediately be able to see the results of enabling this, for now, disabled.

Virtualization Technology__ [Disabled]

If you need this, you know it.

Full Screen LOGO Show______ [Disabled]
Logo thing is a personal preference If you like it, leave it enabled, I like to see whats going on.

Init Display First_________ [PEG]
Enable PCI-e Video card first.

Integrated Peripherals

SATA AHCI Mode__________ [AHCI] <-- see the link below, if you use AHCI make absolutely certain you drive is set up (jumpers, manuf config utility, etc.)

for 3.0Gb/s operation

SATA Port0-3 Native Mode [Enabled] <-- if XP SP2 or newer otherwise [Disabled]

USB Controller__________ [Enabled]

USB 2.0 Controller______ [Enabled]

USB Keyboard Support____ [As your hardware requires]

USB Mouse Support_______ [As your hardware requires]

Legacy USB storage detect[As your hardware requires]
Unless you have a USB hard drive attached disable USB storage (will not affect thumb drives).

Azalia Codec____________ [Auto] <--- Disable if you have a sound card.

Onboard H/W LAN_________ [Enabled]

SMART LAN_______________ [Press Enter]

Onboard LAN Boot ROM____ [Disabled]

Onboard SATA/IDE Device_ [Enabled]

Onboard SATA/IDE Ctrl Mode [IDE]

IDE/RAID if running a raid on the jmicron controllers.

Onboard Serial Port 1___ [Disabled unless you have a need for it]

Onboard Parallel Port___ [Disabled unless you have a need for it]

Parallel Port Mode______ [SPP]

Power Management Setup

ACPI Suspend Type [S1(POS)]

Soft-Off by PWR-BTTN [Delay 4 Sec.]

Highly recommended, you MUST hold the power button in for 4 sec to turn off the machine, this allows time for disk drive buffers to flush. Short push should put computer into sleep mode or shutdown if Windows set up to allow it.

PME Event Wake Up_________ [Disabled]

Power On by Ring__________ [Disabled]

Resume by Alarm___________ [Disabled]

x Date (of Month) Alarm Everyday

x Time (hh:mm:ss) Alarm 0 : 0 : 0

HPET Support (Note)_______ [Enabled]

Supported on Vista operating system only. But no problems with it being enabled

HPET Mode_________________ [32-bit mode] <-- 64-bit mode on 64 bit OS's

Power On By Mouse_________ [Double Click] <-- this is nice check it out (may not work with wireless or USB mice)

Power On By Keyboard______ [Disabled] <-- if you have a fancy Kb do it.

KB Power ON Password______ [Enter]

AC Back Function__________ [Soft-Off]

PnP/PCI Configurations
PCI1 IRQ Assignment [Auto]
PCI2 IRQ Assignment [Auto]
PCI3 IRQ Assignment [Auto]

PC Health Status

Reset Case Open Status [Disabled]

Case Opened No

Vcore OK


+3.3V OK

+12V OK

Current System Temperature 40oC <-- thermistor located near the end of the 16x PCI-3 slot.

Current CPU Temperature 47C <-- thermistor located in or near the cpu socket.

Current CPU FAN Speed 3375 RPM <-- Wont be the same but it's an indication it's alive.

Current SYSTEM FAN Speed 0 RPM

Current POWER FAN Speed 0 RPM

CPU Warning Temperature___ [80oC / 176oF] <--Never set above 80 (I use 70 on my Q6600)

CPU FAN Fail Warning______ [Enabled] <--stock HS-fan or 3/4 wire HS-fan, otherwise disable if CPU
fan has no rpm monitor lead (2 pin fan)

SYSTEM FAN Fail Warning___ [Enabled] <--Disable if no rpm monitor on fan

POWER FAN Fail Warning____ [Disabled] <---Use it if ya got it.

Smart FAN Control Method__ [Disable] <--Forces CPU fan to always run full speed.

Smart FAN Control Mode____ [Auto]

Once Method is disabled it does not matter what Mode is set to, fan should run 100% all the time. Later once you determine how the temps are running with your over clock you can come back and enable this and EIST as well to keep the fan noise under control.

MB Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T.)

Robust Graphics Booster___________ [Auto]

CPU Clock Ratio (Note)____________ [XX] <<<----CPU Multiplier

This should be set to your processors highest multiplier, for now.

The option will display "Locked" and read only if the CPU ratio is not changeable.

CPU Host Clock Control_ [Enabled]

CPU Host Frequency (MHz)__________ [266] <<<----FSB Speed (Front Side Buss)

PCI Express Frequency (Mhz)_______ [102]

C.I.A. 2__________________________ [Disabled]

System Memory Multiplier (SPD)____ [2.00] - This is a 1:1 divider, memory speed will be 2x FSB.

Memory Frequency (Mhz) 533 - Your actual memory operating speed is always show above.

DRAM Timing Selectable_______ SPD __ [Manual]

My RAM timings are 4-5-3-12, you should know what your ram is, if not, FIND OUT

CAS Latency Time_____________ 5 ____ [4] <--use your rams values, (CL)
Dram RAS# to CAS# Delay______ 5 ____ [5] <--use your rams values (tRCD)
Dram RAS# Precharge Delay_____5 ____ [3] <--use your rams values (tRP)
Precharge Delay (tRAS)________15 ____[12] <--use your rams values (tRAS)
ACT to ACT Delay (tRRD)_______4 _____[auto]
Rank Write to READ Delay______3 _____[auto]
Write to Precharge Delay______6 _____[auto]
Refresh to ACT Delay________42 ______[0]
Read to Precharge Delay_______4 _____[auto]
Memory Performance Enhance__________ [Normal]

This setting tells the BIOS to look at your memory for the existence of an EPP (Enhanced Performance Profile) stored in your memories SPD chip.

I have confirmed this works, if the memory has EPPs, and improves performance. Leave set to Normal for now.

High Speed DRAM DLL Settings________ [Option 1] But if you have had to set it to [Option 2] ok.

******** System Voltage NOT Optimized ******** <<---IGNORE This.
System Voltage Control____ [Manual]
DDR2 OverVoltage Control__ [+0.300V] <-- default is 1.8V, 1.8 + 0.3V = 2.1V set this to add up to your ram's voltage requirement.
PCI-E OverVoltage Control_ [+0.1V] <--- a little extra for stability
FSB OverVoltage Control___ [+0.1V] <--- a little extra for stability
(G)MCH OverVoltage Control [+0.1V] <--- a little extra for stability
CPU Voltage Control_______ [Per chart below] <--- very mild overvoltage so we can start playing soon SEE WARNING BELOW !

DANGER - Intel spec for Vcore absolute maximum is 1.55V. The BIOS will let you set a ridiculous high voltage, be careful. !!

Normal CPU Vcore 1.3250V

CPU Voltage chart. (minor overvoltage for stability)
E4300 1.35
E6300 1.35
E6400 1.35
E6600 1.375
E6700 1.375
X6800 1.375
Q6600 1.38
QX6700 1.38

After making these changes press to return to the main menu and STOP!
Type in "Baseline" (without the quote marks)
Press Enter
Save Changes and Exit CMOS.


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Re: Basic Overclocking E and Q processors and DQ* main boards
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2009, 09:25:44 pm »
Let the machine load windows.
  • Start CPU-z: make a note of Core Speed, Multiplier and Buss Speed. (Core Speed should be your Intel CPU stock speed)
  • Start coretemp: make a note of Core #1 temp and Core #2 temp they should not be above 40C typically.
  • Leave coretemp running and start Prime95, run the Blend test and watch your temps, remember anything over 65C (and at these almost stock settings you should not be anywhere near that) is cause for concern and you should shut the system down.
  • Let Prime95 run for 5 minutes if temps seem reasonable and then record your load temps for all cores.

I make a spreadsheet kinda thing on graph paper and record the critical values in columns, marking the one I change on the next test. I strongly suggest you do something similar. These are the critical settings we are going to be adjusting.

CPU Speed
CPU Voltage
CPU Multi
Mem Speed
Mem Volts
RAS Precharge
Precharge Delay
Write to READ
Write to Precharge
Refresh to ACT
Read to Precharge
Memory Perf Enh
High Speed DRAM
DDR2 OverVoltage
PCI-E OverVoltage
FSB OverVoltage
MCH OverVoltage
Core 1 temp IDLE
Core 2 temp IDLE etc..
Core 1 temp LOAD
Core 2 temp LOAD etc.
super PI 2M time.

Hang in there ! Almost playtime

Gigabytes Gone WILD !!!

In preparation for our little adventure we need to make sure we understand what happens when the main board is "not happy". We will try to avoid "not happy" by being methodical but it is going to happen, a lot. The first thing is that when we change something important in the BIOS, the board will try very hard to use our settings and begin a cycle of powering off and attempting to reboot, after several cycles it will either find settings that work or reset the CPU back to stock speeds by disabling the "manual" settings for CPU frequency and PCI frequency and using the "safe" SPD memory timings. When it does this you will get the single "BEEP" indication the POST succeeded. Be ready to hit the "Del" key to get back in the BIOS and fix where we went to far. So get used to hitting Ctrl+F1 at the main BIOS screen. You will have to redo the three items below as well as address whatever it is we did to cause the problem. The good news is that no other settings should have changed. (Also see "Using Stored Profiles.." below, it eliminates the need to manually fix most things.)

Normally, under the M.I.T. sub-menu the settings below is all that needs to be checked and reentered/enabled. (and fix whatever it is we did to make it un-happy)

CPU Host Clock Control____________ [Enabled]
PCI Express Frequency (Mhz)_______ [102]
DRAM Timing Selectable_______ SPD _[Manual]

Now the bad news. Sometimes we can really freak the mobo out and it will just keep cycling, no worries, I give it 5 cycle tries and with my finger on the power switch on the back of the power supply, catch it when it powers down and flip the switch off. We will be forced to clear the CMOS/BIOS and this will erase a lot of our settings back to factory defaults. :eek: You did take notes on all your setting changes, right ? Bah, I warned ya.

But here are a couple of tricks to make the recovery from insanity quicker and much less painful:

Clearing the CMOS/BIOS (Restoring the BIOS settings to factory defaults and a neat trick)

Please check your manual for the procedure for Clearing the CMOS, pgs. 29 and 30 of the DS3/S3 manual I have, and usually in the Troubleshooting section. pg 82. also. OK, look on your board and find the jumper pins for clearing the CMOS. Now in your manual find the diagram that shows where the front panel switches and LEDs connect to the motherboard (pg 25) and take note of where the reset switch is plugged into the motherboard header, on current versions its on the bottom, closest to the edge of the board and the one to the right toward the front of the board. Yank it off ! Now connect it to the CLR_CMOS pins !

Huh ? Yep, we do not need reset, the computer tries to do that on its own and hitting reset from the front panel is hecka lot easier than messing with the battery etc. We will put it back when play time is over, although I do not have a good reason why we should even bother. So now, to clear the CMOS, just hold in the reset button and count to 10. This works great on my DQ6, as I mentioned I do not have a DS-3 but there is no reason it should not work.

If you have the latest BIOS then skip this part, if not then I'd advise you to get the latest bios from the Gigabyte website, there free.

Saving Our Baseline BIOS Settings

Using Q-Flash to Save our Initial BIOS Setup

Read page 60 of the manual concerning Q-Flash, it will work with a floppy or USB drive formatted with FAT32. I will talk about using a floppy, you do what you have to do. Find a new floppy, do a full format, if anything weird shows up, trash it and try another, and reboot, tapping the "End" key to get into Q-Flash immediately or "Del" to go into the BIOS main menu and then hit the "F8" key. From the menu select "Save BIOS to Drive" and when prompted give the file a name like baseline.f10 or overclock.f10. Please add the .XYY of the bios version just like the original BIOS file from Gigabyte so if you tell them apart if accumulate a lot of them. Since they are 1MB in size you can only get one BIOS file on a floppy. OK so now if everything goes south we can get back to our baseline. I have flashed my machine a lot with Q-Flash and a floppy but any BIOS flash is inherently dangerous (My DQ6 has a backup on board, really sweet). So I strongly suggest you take a look at the next section, it makes things sooo much easier.

Using Stored Profiles is the Preferred Method

As there is some risk with the full flash method above, after you make a hard BIOS backup, see if your board supports this feature and use it. It will save a LOT of time. From the main BIOS screen, look at the bottom and see if there is an "F11: Save CMOS to BIOS", if so this is a great thing to use. Go ahead and hit F11, an 8 slot menu should pop up, you use your arrow keys to move up and down. Highlight one of the "Default" entries, and type in "Baseline" or something like that, space over any remaining letters of the "default" if they exist, and hit the enter key to close the menu. From the main BIOS screen hit "Exit and Save Settings", your are done. On reboot hit "del", get into the BIOS and change something easy to find. Now go back to main menu, hit "F12: Load CMOS to BIOS", select the entry you just made with your arrow keys and hit "Enter". Go look at what you changed a minute ago, its back to what it was! Neato. This is great for OC testing, I have a "TEST" profile I use and a "Stable OC" and a "Baseline" profile. This does NOT eliminate the need to write stuff down but you should get comfortable using this. Just every time you make a change, BEFORE "Exit and Save Changes" use F11 and save your stuff to the "TEST" or whatever you named it profile. Tip - don't mess with your "Baseline" profile, ever, make another one. With 8 slots you can figure out a method that works for you.

----------- work in progress below here, use at own risk ---- There is nothing horribly wrong or incorrect in the following I have just, not finished, double checked the logical progression and am basically getting a first cut down and it needs to be gone through again simplified and triple checked for errors.

Instant Gratification

As a reward for wading through all this stuff, lets take a minute and "play toys". We are just going to do a "quickie" overclock try to boot and load into windows. As soon as you can get Coretemp fired up in windows and check you temp. If the heatsink is installed correctly you should not be over 55C even with stock heatsink. We have our baseline profile saved, right ? right!.

Find your CPU in the table below on the left and move right until you get to the column that is your memory.

The values listed are CPU clock ratio (multiplier) - Memory Divider - FSB (Host Clock Speed) and at the very end the speed your CPU will be running. For example if you have an E6400 and PC6400 memory set your multiplier to 8, your memory divider to 2.0 and and FSB to 333MHz in the M.I.T menu and after rebooting it should run at about 2.664GHz.

Example using E6400 and PC6400 settings from the table below:

MB Intelligent Tweaker(M.I.T.)
Robust Graphics Booster___________ [Auto]
CPU Clock Ratio _________________ [8] <<<----CPU Multiplier from table for E6400 + PC6400
CPU Host Clock Control____________ [Enabled]
CPU Host Frequency (MHz)_________ [333] <<<----FSB Speed (Front Side Buss) from table for E6400 + PC6400
PCI Express Frequency (Mhz)_______ [102]
C.I.A. 2__________________________ [Disabled]
System Memory Multiplier (SPD)_____ [2.00] <<--- Memory Divider from table for E6400 + PC6400

_________PC2-5300 ____ PC2-6400______ PC2-7200 ____ PC2-8000 ___ PC2-8500___aprox speed

E4300__9 - 2.5 - 266 __ 9 - 3.0 - 266 __ 9 - 3.3 - 266 __ 9 - 3.3 - 266 _9 - 4.0 - 266_2394

E6300__7 - 2.0 - 333 __ 7 - 2.0 - 366 __ 7 - 2.0 - 366 __ 7 - 2.5 - 366 _7 - 2.5 - 366_2664

E6400__8 - 2.0 - 333 __ 8 - 2.0 - 333 __ 8 - 2.5 - 333 __ 8 - 3.0 - 333 _8 - 3.0 - 333_2664

E6600__8 - 2.0 - 333 __ 7 - 2.0 - 400 __ 7 - 2.0 - 400 __ 7 - 2.5 - 400 _7 - 2.5 - 400_2800

E6700__9 - 2.0 - 333 __ 8 - 2.0 - 375 __ 8 - 2.0 - 375 __ 8 - 2.5 - 375 _9 - 2.5 - 375_2997

X6800__10 - 2.0 - 333 __ 8 - 2.0 - 400 __ 8 - 2.0 - 400 _ 8 - 2.5 - 400 _8 - 2.5 - 400_3200

Q6600__8 - 2.0 - 333 __ 7 - 2.0 - 400 __ 7 - 2.0 - 400 __ 7 - 2.5 - 400 _7 - 2.5- 400_2800

QX6700__9 - 2.0 - 333 __ 9 - 2.0 - 375 __ 9 - 2.0 - 375 _ 9 - 2.5 - 375 _9 - 2.5- 375_2997

Back out ot the main menu, F11- Save it in a new profile, Save and Exit and a short prayer during the power cycle and reboot cant hurt.

With a little luck you should now be running with a mild overclock. Grab your notebook and jot down the results of the following. Start cpu-z and record your CPU speed and FSB, Start coretemp and check your temps both at idle and with Prime95 running for a couple of minutes. If under load you are at or over 65C shut it down. Click on the "memory" tab of cpu-z and jot down the information, it should correspond to the manufactures timings we manually placed into the BIOS settings. If your temps are good, play around some. Come back when you feel like it, I will go take a nap. No hurry.

Memory Characterization and Validation

The most critical aspect of overclocking your CPU is to determine just how far you can overclock you memory (and your board in general). Once we know exactly what our memory can do, it is no longer part of the variables. If you do not do this, you can never quite be sure what is limiting what and spend a lot of time changing random things and spinning in circles. With this board design the MCH (Memory Controller Hub) also becomes overclocked as FSB speeds increase and this actually tends to limit overclocking the entire system as well. There will be a more in-depth discussion in the extreme overclocking section. Regardless of the level of overclocking desired, all should go through the following steps and just quit when you are at your comfort level. First, a few words about what is normally limits the overclock on these boards.

Memory and MCH Heat Issues.

If you intend to do serious overclocking start the process now to get a fan on the MCH. Screw it on, hot melt glue, tye wraps, whatever. You must cool the MCH for reliable FSB's over 333. If you cpu has a multiplier of 9 or more its not quite as much an issue but you may find the super duper fast memory you bought was a waste of money. More on that later. During the next set of tests we need to employ the highly sensitive thermal probe located on the end of your hand. You have 10 of them so if one gets damaged its of no concern, to me :p. Each time you increment the FSB and establish a new "highest" FSB let memtest run for a few minutes and take your thermal probe (finger) and place it on a memory stick, either directly on a chip or if with heatspreaders place it in the middle of the spreader about 1/2 way down. If you can count to ten without removing your finger due to heat. you are good, if you have to let go at 5 you are very warm and it could use some more air, how is up to you. If you cant make it to 3, you are killing your ram. You need to back off and get some air on it. We are still at stock voltage and extreme overclocking requires raising the memory voltage which produces a LOT more heat than we are creating now. So this is a serious problem if you are already running hot. Do the same thing for the MCH heatsink. It is the heatpipe/heatsink about in the middle of the board. It will probably be much hotter than a memory stick, don't damage your probe. Same deal, I think you will quickly find a fan is needed as we ramp up the FSB. Deal with it if you intend to OC. See the Hardware tweaks section for tips on putting a fan on the MCH. Repeatedly check the temp of these parts as you establish new FSB "records". The first and best thing you can do is tear off that ridiculous "bling" thin sheet metal cover on the MCH so air can get to the fins. Flatten it back out and superglue it to your case for a "super sized" case badge, or not.


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Re: Basic Overclocking E and Q processors and DQ* main boards
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2009, 09:27:37 pm »
Memory/MCH Testing Strategy

Basic strategy, we will reduce the CPU multiplier to under clock the CPU and increase the Memory Multiplier (for higher memory speeds) and raise the CPU Host Frequency (FSB) speed while we test the memory until we get errors. All of these settings are under the M.I.T. sub-menu in the BIOS. The first runs should be done at the manufactures recommended voltages. Take notes but it is probably not necessary to use the full listing I presented earlier, just keep track of CPU Host Frequency (FSB) speed, Memory Speed (FSB x 2.5) and Memory Voltage. We are going to test to find the following.

Max speed at auto timings and stock manuf specified voltage.
Max speed at auto timings and manuf highest recommended voltage.
Max speed at manual timings and stock manuf specified voltage
Max speed at manual timings and manuf highest recommended voltage.

For example my Corsair XMS is rated at 1.9V in the specifications as a stock voltage but Corsair recommends and warranties it up to 2.1V. As mentioned before, you need to know these values for your ram. Make a post in the memory forum if you have too but rely only on manufactures data sheets or the company representative. Advice from Ub3r_HzAxO8R and his buddies, etc. is to be avoided. If like me, you have more time than money, you can test each stick individually. Its not unheard of to stick a little piece of tape to the stick with the max OC info like "850FSB 544-12@2.1V".

The Memory TEST

Reboot if you have to and get into the BIOS.
From the main menu press the "F12 Key" key and load your "Baseline" profile.
Now enter the "Advanced Chipset Options" sub-menu and check that the first boot device is set to the drive that can boot Memtest.
(Easier than trying to hit the Boot Menu key during restart, hitting "Delete Key" in time is hard enough. )
Find your Memtest CD or floppy and place it in the drive

Go into the M.I.T sub menu and make ONLY the following changes:

CPU Clock Ratio __________________ [6] <<<----Set to 6, all CPU models, for testing
CPU Host Clock Control_____ [Enabled]
CPU Host Frequency (MHz)____________ [Per table below]
System Memory Multiplier (SPD)____ __[Per table below]
DRAM Timing Selectable_______ SPD __ [Auto]
DDR2 OverVoltage Control__ [+0.1] <-- default is 1.8V, 1.8 + 0.1V = 1.9V set this to add up to your ram's manufacturers stock voltage requirement. This

example shows my Corsair XMS at 1.9V stock.

Verify that:
Memory Performance Enhance__________ [Normal]

Values in this table will result in a 10% (aprox.)increase in memory speed over stock.

Rating (stock spd)_____ New FSB ___ Mem spd______ New CPU spd
PC2-4300 (533Mhz)_______ 234______( 585) _________ 1.40GHz __ use 2.5 multi
PC2-5300 (667Mhz)_______ 292______( 730) _________ 1.75GHz __ use 2.5 multi
PC2-5400 (675Mhz)_______ 292______( 730) _________ 1.75GHz __ use 2.5 multi
PC2-6000 (750Mhz)_______ 330______( 825) _________ 1.98GHz __ use 2.5 multi
PC2-6400 (800Mhz)_______ 293______( 880) _________ 1.76GHz __ use 3.0 multi
PC2-7200 (900Mhz)_______ 330______( 990) _________ 1.90GHz __ use 3.0 multi
PC2-8000 (1000Mhz)______ 275______(1100) _________ 1.65GHz __ use 4.0 multi
PC2-8500 (1066Mhz)______ 325______(1130) _________ 1.95GHz __ use 4.0 multi

to the main BIOS menu after making the changes above.
From the main BIOS screen press to save your new settings
If a "Testing" profile exists, use your arrow keys and select/highlight it.
If a "Testing" profile does not exist create one by selecting a slot and type in "Testing"
Press to save the baseline + the new settings to the "Testing" profile.
Select/highlight "Save and Exit CMOS", press twice.

OK, I have spent days trying to come up with tables and procedures to step through what needs to be done. Its almost impossible (for me anyway) to come up with anything simple that can cover all situations so we will rely on your brain, as it is the most powerful computer we have available. As mentioned above the point is to find out where your memory starts to have issues at stock timings and voltages. We will then repeat the testing with other timings and voltages but we need to know it all. If you change boards, processors etc. this information is worth its weight in gold. The settings in the table above are agressive, do not become discouraged if you fail the first time.

What to do

Max speed at auto timings and stock manual specified voltage.

You should have rebooted into memtest. If not, fix it. We are going to slowly raise the CPU Host Frequency (FSB) and each test we will boot into memtest and let it run just the first 3 tests. If memtest gives you no errors, reboot, get into the BIOS and raise the CPU Host Frequency by 3MHz , save and exit, reboot into memtest, and keep repeating this procedure until errors appear. Do NOT change anything else, just the CPU Host Frequency (FSB). Take note of the CPU Host Frequency. Write it down every time you change it because its almost certain the last try will require you to reset the CMOS and the value in the BIOS will be lost. Ok, at some point errors are going to show up. We now have memtest errors, reboot into the BIOS if you can, if not Clear CMOS, boot into the BIOS and load your "testing" profile. Go into the M.I.T menu and put in the last "Good" CPU Host Frequency. Save and exit, and let memtest run for at least one full testing pass. If you get no errors, circle that last "Good" CPU Host Frequency. If you get errors, go back in the bios and reduce the CPU Host Frequency by 2MHz and keep doing this with a memtest run until you get at least 1 full memtest pass with no errors. The CPU Host Frequency you end up with, times the CPU mulitplier from the table that you used for testing gives you the maximum actual speed your memory will pass this test at.

More What to Do.

Max speed at auto timings and manuf highest recommended voltage.

Load your "testing" profile and change ONLY:

DDR2 OverVoltage Control__ [+0.3] <-- default is 1.8V, 1.8 + 0.3V = 2.1V set this to add up to your ram's manufacturers maximum voltage. This example shows my Corsair XMS at 2.1V which is what Corsair recommends for my memory for overclocking.

Do the exact same procedure as we just did above. Hopefully you will come out with a higher CPU Host Frequency. Be sure to take note of this number and that it is for auto timings, OCing voltage. If you multiply this number times the value of the Memory Multiplier you used in the BIOS from the table, this number represents about the highest actual speed you are going to get out of that memory without going to extreme methods.

Max speed at manuf timings and stock manuf specified voltage

Load your "testing" profile and change ONLY:

DRAM Timing Selectable_______ SPD __ [Manual]

Do the exact same procedure as we just did above. You should, will come out with a lower CPU Host Frequency due to the tightened timings. Be sure to take note of this number and that it is for manuf timings, stock voltage. If you multiply this number times the value of the Memory Multiplier you used in the BIOS from the table, this number represents about the highest actual speed you are going to get out of that memory if you go with a conservative OC.

Max speed at manuf timings and manuf highest recommended voltage.

Load your "testing" profile and change ONLY:

DRAM Timing Selectable_______ SPD __ [Manual]

DDR2 OverVoltage Control__ [+0.3] <-- default is 1.8V, 1.8 + 0.3V = 2.1V set this to add up to your ram's manufacturers maximum voltage. This example shows my Corsair XMS at 2.1V which is what Corsair recommends for my memory for overclocking.

Do the exact same procedure as we just did above. You should will come out with a slightly higher CPU Host Frequency due to the increased voltage, but maybe not. Be sure to take note of this number and that it is for manual timings, OCing voltage. If you multiply this number times the value of the Memory Multiplier you used in the BIOS from the table, this number represents about the highest actual speed you are going to get out of that memory with tight timings without going to extreme methods.

You should now have four CPU Host Frequencies circled, multiply them by the memory divider you used from the table and those numbers are pretty close to the speed limits of your ram:
Max speed at auto timings and stock manuf specified voltage. xxxxxxMHz
Max speed at auto timings and manuf highest recommended voltage. xxxxMHz
Max speed at manual timings and stock manuf specified voltage xxxxxxMHz
Max speed at manual timings and manuf highest recommended voltage. xxxxxMHz
With additional testing we can refine those numbers a little bit but it is not worth the time now. Hopefully you did not have to reset the cmos and your "testing" bios profile still contains the manual memory timings and the the recommended overclocking voltage. If you did have to clear it, load your "Baseline" profile and enter the setting just like you did above in the last memory testing run.

Reference Materials:

Thermal and Mechanical Design Guidelines
– Supporting the Intel® Core™2 Duo desktop processor E6000
and E4000 sequences and Intel® Pentium® 4 processor 651
January 2007
Thermal and Mechanical Design Guidelines
– Supporting the Intel® Core™2 Extreme quad-core processor
QX6700 ? and Intel® Core™2 Quad Processor Q6600
Voltage Regulator-Down (VRD) 11.0
Processor Power Delivery Design Guidelines
– For Desktop LGA775 Socket
All the P965 chipset docs

BIOS settings

Memory Performance Enhance
Enhanced Performance Profiles, (EPP)

Thermal Considerations

Quick Facts and FAQ

Fact: It is impossible to run the memory slower than the CPU FSB as there is no memory divider less than 1:1 (shown as 2.0 in the bios because with DDR true memory speed is twice the base clock speed). For example; If you set the CPU clock (FSB) at 333MHz the slowest you can run memory is 2 x 333MHz = 666MHz

Fact: If you do not cool the MCH/Northbridge you are going to have issues with anything over a mild OC.

Fact: Easytune 5 blows chunks for monitoring CPU temperatures (at least on my DQ6) see FAQ below.

Fact: I do not know everything, make mistakes all the time and cannot spell worth a damn.

Fact:With Speedfan - Vcore2 is actually vdimm.

Temp 2 is related to cpu temp, best quess is that it is a thermal probe/thermistor located under the cpu in the "well" in the middle of the socket. This is easy to verify as you can run some cpu stress testing software and it quickly raises temp 2. However it does not exactly correspond to the cpu core temps and reacts a bit slower, thus the conclusion its a thermister under the cpu.

Temp 1 is also a thermister on the board that is reading "system temp" and on DS3's it is located on the board near the end of the PCI-e 16x slot (video card slot) and rises no where near a quickly as the cpu related ones. It is more of a general "case temp" kinda thing.

Temp 3 is hooked to nothing and is completely "wacko" disregard it.

More to come......


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Re: Basic Overclocking E and Q processors and D** main boards
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2009, 11:36:10 am »
sounds interesting. what was the mobo you tested ?
“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”


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Re: Basic Overclocking E and Q processors and D** main boards
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2009, 03:34:30 pm »
sounds interesting. what was the mobo you tested ?

Greetings Beekeeper,

The boards that I have used were GA-965P-DQ6 - GA-P35-DQ6 - GA-X38-DQ6 - GA-X48-DQ6 and the DS3 variants. Other contributors have used other Gigabyte boards, That's not to say the method cant be used with all  Gigabyte main boards, it's just having the ability to change the settings in the bios that's the limiting factor.


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Re: Basic Overclocking E and Q processors and D** main boards
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2009, 04:15:59 pm »
nice job m8!  :D
i will have to spend some time :-[ reading all of this as it's really HUGE amount of info (now i am totally overworked - FRIDAY!) but it seems it's definitely worth doing it.
“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”


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Re: Basic Overclocking E and Q processors and D** main boards
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2009, 05:29:21 pm »
 nice Guide M8,
Should be made a stiky, Yeh


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Re: Basic Overclocking E and Q processors and D** main boards
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2009, 12:45:33 pm »
Finally made it sticky
ZX-S & C64 are still my favourites ;-)

Re: Basic Overclocking E and Q processors and D** main boards
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2010, 06:17:43 am »
Resurrecting an OLD thread, but I wanted to say that this information and all of your time put into this has been a blessing. Thank you so much!


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Re: Basic Overclocking E and Q processors and D** main boards
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2011, 01:43:35 am »
Hi im seriously new to this and would like all the help i can get could you help with a 1st time overclocking, if your familiar with the -
windows 7 64bit ultimate
gigabyte ga ep45 ds3 rev1.0 motherboard
bios f10b
intel q6600 2.4ghz
kingston hyperx pc28500 4x2 gb ddrII @ 1066
gtx550ti 1gb g@ 970
optiarc dvd rw
1x wd 500gb green
1x wd 500gb blue
1 x samsung spinpoint 1tb
psu- 729watts winpower modular

im wanting to overclock it to 2.8ghz
and for the memory to run smoothly as this system underclocks it at 800mhz
so the memory keeps having faults
temps cpu is 44 'c -34'c
also a main factor is the sataII does not support a raid solution,
so i have installed intel rapid solution also matrix solution but that too seems to not function correctly
it also shows only 3.5gb usable  will this be corrected if i set the settings correctly in the bios?
I will post back here with several screenshots of the bios settings and hope & pray that someone out there can help get this piece of excremented pile of doggy dicking fookin pooping splert of a machine working again...oh and if there is anything else i can attach to file just ask for any requirements thankyou....from a very confused gigabyte owner

Dark Mantis

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    • Dark Mantis
Re: Basic Overclocking E and Q processors and D** main boards
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2011, 09:13:57 am »
Hi and welcome to the Gigabyte Forum.

and for the memory to run smoothly as this system underclocks it at 800mhz

I expect the memory isn't being underclocked at all but just run at the standard JEDEC rate for that RAM. If you bought memory rated at 1066 then you will need to either use an attached XMP if it has one or manually configure the settings in the BIOS to run at that speed.

so i have installed intel rapid solution also matrix solution but that too seems to not function correctly

I expect the matrix solution isn't running properly as it has been superseded by the IRST instead. They are not both going to work.

Just do as much reading up on overclcoking so that you understand not only what you are doing but why you are doing it. ;)
Gigabyte X58A-UD7
i7 920
Dominators 1600 x6 12GB
6970 2GB
256GB SSD, Sam 1TB, WDB320GB
HAF 932

Gigabyte Z68X-UD5-B3
i7 3770K
Vengeance 1600 16GB
6950 2GB
Revo Drive x2, 1.5TB WDB RAID0
16x DLRW
StrikeX S7
Full water cooling
3 x 27" Iiy